What is a storyteller?

A storyteller’s a shepherd, who drives our emotions,
Gladness or sorrow are mere words away
The storyteller can catch them, hold them, keep them,
Herding our dreams through the light of the day

A storyteller’s a blacksmith, shaping our language,
Bending the words into notions unthought,
Melting the past down to make our new futures,
Showing us how our desires are wrought.

A storyteller’s a doctor, healing our hurts,
broken hearts bound with tradition and songs,
tending our ills with the utmost compassion,
Mending our memories, righting our wrongs.

A storyteller’s a wizard, abundant in magic,
casting a spell over all who draw near,
making the ordinary sparkle like diamonds,
waving a wand to make wonders appear.

A storyteller’s an archaeologist, digging for facts,
bringing them into the present to share,
Shining them up and revealing their histories,
New, yet preserved with the greatest of care.

A storyteller’s a guide, through the lands of unknowing,
showing the path through the mists of the years,
mapping the landscape’s adventure and wonder,
bridging the gap ‘twixt our hopes and our fears.

So next time you wonder what storytellers do,
remember how wordsmiths can make people feel,
they hold up a mirror to show our reality
and hold up a lantern, our souls to reveal.

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My books have arrived!

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I’m extremely happy to announce that my latest book “Drabble Folk and Fairy Tales” is available in paperback for immediate dispatch, for only £4.99 each (+£1.50 P&P per order if applicable).
Visit my Drabble page to order your copy today. It’s a limited print run, over 1/4 of them already sold on preorder.

wildheartedman

It’s been a while since I updated the blog, for which I apologise. I had an essay assignment for my Open University course, and that pretty well out-ranks updating a blog, but now that’s done and dusted.

I’ve had a lot of things buzzing around in my head about going into teaching. Should I do some volunteering? If so, which school should I ask? What sort of retraining am I going to need? Which subject fires me up the most, and which age-group do I want to teach?

None of this has crystallised into any sort of definite form as yet, so in the absence of anything worthwhile, I thought I would keep my brain occupied by re-writing the classic song “My Favourite Things”. This has been a bit of an idea of mine for a while. After all, truth be told, I’m not that bothered about raindrops on roses…

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The Tortoise and the Hare

The tortoise and the hare
Once upon a time there was a hare, the fastest hare that had ever lived. He ran everywhere and all the time, and he knew how very amazingly fast he was. Because of this, he started to boast “I am the fastest creature in all the world! Nobody is faster than me”. The other creatures grew tired of his incessant boasting, and sought a way to bring the hare down a peg or two.
They called a meeting to which all creatures (except the hare of course) were invited, and asked who would race against this upstart animal. The creatures shuffled their feet, and looked nervously at each other. Who could be confident to beat the hare in a race? Only one creature from all gathered stepped forward, and it was a most unlikely challenger. Tortoise plodded out of the crowd, and said in his slow-and-steady voice “I’ll race the hare”.
The creatures laughed at such a ridiculous proposition. Tortoise was so slow that despite setting out for the meeting as soon as he heard of it, three days previously, he was still late arriving. His plodding ways were well known among all animals. Eventually the badger asked tortoise “why do you think you can beat the hare when all others can’t”, and the tortoise in his slow-and-steady way said “because I keep going, and I don’t stop. Slow-and-steady wins the race, that’s what my dad told me”.
The creatures could not argue with the tortoise’s logic, so despite their reservations they set up the race for the next day.
Hare ran to the start line in seconds flat, and hopped about while he awaited his race-partner. Hours later the tortoise appeared on the scene, plodding along in his slow-and-steady way until he arrived at the line. The starting pistol went “BANG” and the hare raced off into the distance. The tortoise began his slow-and-steady plodding, and plodded along all through the day and all through the night. The hare, meanwhile, saw a shady tree beside the race track, and decided that his lead was immense enough, and his challenger slow enough, that he could take forty winks and still trounce his opponent. The warm sun lulled the hare into rather a deeper sleep than he intended, and soon he was slumbering peacefully, safe in the knowledge that however fast the tortoise plodded, he, the hare, would always beat him. The tortoise was not at all surprised to see the hare asleep under the tree, and muttered to himself as he passed “slow-and-steady, that’s the way, keep going”.
The hare awoke some time later, aware he had been asleep for quite a while. He looked behind him and chuckled to himself “not even on the horizon! What a plodder that tortoise is”. He jogged along, confident of an easy victory, but as he neared the finish line he was met with a most surprising sight. There, a whisker away from the finishing line, was the tortoise! The hare was quite taken aback “but how…” He upped his pace and sprinted for the line with all his speed, but the tortoise had plodded across the line ahead of him. The hare, red in the face and sweating profusely, approached the tortoise, who looked cool and collected as usual. The hare asked the question that had been puzzling him; “How did you beat me in a race? I’m the fastest creature in the world!”
“Not now you’re not”, the tortoise replied with a wry grin, “I am. My father told me Slow-and-steady wins the race, and he was right. It does!”
Thus the tortoise enjoyed his unlikely title of “world’s fastest creature”, and the hare learned humility.
The other creatures noticed a change in the hare from that day onwards, as after his defeat he vowed to use his speed to help rather than to boast. The hare became the messenger for the other creatures, and the tortoise retired from racing, enjoying his retirement with good grace.IMG_0821[1]